Skip to main content

About this Show

The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

NETWORK
CNN

DURATION
02:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN

SOURCE

TUNER

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
mp2

PIXEL WIDTH
720

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 28, U.s. 27, Mexico 17, Afghanistan 17, North Carolina 12, Hamid Karzai 8, United States 8, Clinton 6, Pakistan 6, Arizona 6, Russia 6, Sarah Palin 5, Jack Cafferty 5, Louisiana 5, Canada 5, Rob Marciano 4, England 4, Chad Myers 4, New York 4, Washington 4,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CNN    The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    September 2, 2010
    5:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

5:00pm
>> it's really not looking like that. >> one other story that we've got a conclusion on. theictes that we were showing you out of new york city of the suspicious vehicle, all clear now according to the bomb squad. they have been out there and apparently taking care of it, and the situation now is under control right there on park avenue. thanks so much for being with us. man, a lot of news today. glad we're able to get you through it. look for it again tomorrow and tonight at 8:00 pl on t.m. on t primetime edition of "rick's list." hope to see you there. now wolf blitzer. >> workers forced overboard off an oil rig and forcing new pollution fears in the gulf of mexico. also, warnings stretching from north carolina to new england to canada as a massive storm bears down on the east coast. we'll get the latest from the director of the national hurricane center. he's standing by live. and russia's military is blowing up tanks and missile launchers
5:01pm
with a lot of air. we'll show you what's behind this secret inflatable arsenal. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with the breaking news. an oil and gas production platform caught fire in the gulf of mexico today about 100 miles off the coast of louisiana. mariner energy, the company that owns the platform, says the fire began at one of seven active wells connected to the rig. 13 workers were forced overboard, but the coast guard says no one was hurt. the coast guard reports an oil sheen, although the company says there was no hydrocarbon spill. production from the platform recently averaged about 9 million cubic feet of natural gas and 1,400 barrels of oil each day. let's get some more from cnn's tom forman who is working this story for us. what do we know, tom? >> reporter: hi, wolf, mainly what we don't know at this
5:02pm
point. we don't know what caused the fire, whether there is a spill, conflicting reports on that. let's talk about what we do know. about 102 miles off the coast here, this is what it looked like when this explosion happened out there. this is a production rig. not an exploratory well, a drilling rig like we talked about with bp. that's important and i'll explain why in just a minute, bus this involved producing oil from a series of wells beneath the surface. that's a much more closed environment, an environment much more controlled than you have in a drilling process where they are still exploring things, all sealed in and why the company is saying it's all shut in and saying there is no spill except maybe that something that came off the deck from a storage tank. again, that's not been ascertained yet. here's what we know about the folks that went into the water and were rescued. we know the photograph of it and know that they are all apparently safe at this point, but the big question, of course, wolf is how much danger is there now as this burns? we know there are two lines that run from here, pipes that run to shore from the well out here.
5:03pm
we also know, as i said before, the different nature of the well. but let's compare it, if we can, to the bp rig which is right over here. if i were to fly in this rig today, i want you to look at where it is situated here also. you sea this pale blue here and then the darker blue down here? if you look at a bigger picture of the gulf and the way it lays out down here, this shows more of the separation. this is the shelf that's just under the water off the coast here. this is much shallower water than out here, of course. this rig is situated on this part of it, but if you go over here on the deep water horizon, now to the bp rig over here, can you see that that's in a situation where it's in the deeper water, and the difference is profound. the distance between the two, get it to turn on here is having a little bit of difficulty, is about 200 miles, but the difference between the two rigs is enormous. this one was in about a mile of water. the other one just over 300 feet. the difference in pressure at depth, if you're dealing with a
5:04pm
leak on the bottom which we're not talking about here yet, talking about over here but the distance is profound. over here it's 150 pounds per square inch. over here it's over a ton per square inch. totally different working environment if you're trying to deal with a leak at that level. also, you mentioned the amount of oil coming out. about 1,400 barrels per day. the estimates were never really settled, i don't think, over at bp. we went through a lot of things, but somewhere in the nature of 25 times as much, maybe a lot more than that, from the bp rig at the height of the leak over there, so really very different environments, wolf, between what happened today and this, the bp disaster, which involved the full-on explosion and the loss of 11 lives. nonetheless, the comparisons are being looked at closely right now and this situation is being taken very seriously with responses from mobile and houston and new orleans, all going out there immediate ly. wyatt life and fish people being
5:05pm
sent out there immediately specifically because of what they saw in the case of the deepwater horizon. that's not what happened in vermillion bay. i'm sure all of those crews will get us more answers in the next 24 hours. >> i want to stress, as you do as well, all of this information very preliminary. very often the initial reports turn out not necessarily to be all that accurate. do we have any reason or know what caused this fire? >> we do not at this point. there seems to be some tentative reports that it was connected to one of the wells that there was some type of fire at the top of it or with a storage facility connected to that, some of the areas where they separate the oil from the natural gas but that again, as you said wolf, is all very tentative. there there l have to be a full-on investigation before we have even preliminary answers that you can rely and the full investigation and obviously they will be talking to all. fellows looking out in the water to hear what they saw, what they
5:06pm
heard in the moments leading up to this fire. wolf? >> tom, thanks very much. standing by. the coast guard is getting ready to have a news conference on what they know. we'll check in with them shortly. more than six weeks after bp's well was capped, bp began removing the blowout preventer. replacing it is a final stage for the permanent fix. removal of the device must be done slowly because it may hold value as to why it failed back on april 20th. that triggeredard the explosion that killed 11 rig workers and caused the massive oil disaster. let's get the latest now on earl's whereabouts. the hurricane, the storm, where it may be heading. joining us now from mime set director of the national hurricane center, bill reed. how much damage can hurricane earl do to the east coast, bill? >> well, that's yet to be determined, but obviously with
5:07pm
the large wind field, fully foliaged trees and the close proximity to the land of a major populated center all the way up the east coast, there's bound to be a considerable amount of damage from that. our biggest concern right now though is the close approach to the outer banks and cape hatteras that will occur in the next six to 12 hours. >> what do we expect to happen in north carolina? >> well, very high seas and elevation of the tide with those high seas. overwashes of the barrier islands with the big waves on top it, some property damage and some road washout. understanding from talking to the emergency managers, they had a slow response to evacations which is very good. >> what happens as this storm moves north towards virginia and maryland and new jersey, new york, the new england area? >> well, one of the things, good things that's happening is, we're fairly confident in the
5:08pm
forecast of the curvature back to the northeast and the way the coastline ducks in for the major metropolitan areas of new york and d.c. and philadelphia, fringe impacts. main impacts in new jersey and western long island, the high surf and unfavorable conditions for beach-goers this end of the summer. bigger threat remains as it comes out towards southern new england because now we're out far enough in the forecast that i can't be overly sure that they are going to escape the direct impacts of the center of the hurricane. >> so what i hear you saying is sometime tomorrow friday philadelphia, washington, d.c., new york city, they may just get a lot of rain, is that what you're saying? >> maybe not even a whole lot of rain, just the breezy conditions from the wind field out of northwest. it will be more close to the coastline where the winds will be in the tropical storm force area for those regions. >> so you're -- from what i hear you're saying is north carolina right now, the folks got to get ready because they have only a
5:09pm
few hours left before this hurricane earl makes direct impact? >> that's correct. daylight is ending. tides are coming up. winds and rain are coming up. this is the time to be in place and stay safe. >> we're going to stay in close touch with you, bill reed, of the national hurricane center. thanks very much. i want to go to the coast guard right now. they are updating us on this latest explosion of the oil platform in the gulf of mexico. >> i'll call on you, all right? >> all right. >> good afternoon. first, i'm pleased to announce that all 13 members aboard the oil platform have survived with no serious injuries. the fire is out, and coast guard helicopters on scene and vessels on scene have no reports of a visible sheen in the water. there's no report of an evidence of leaks, but we continue to investigate and to monitor that situation to make sure that that doesn't change.
5:10pm
at 0919 central time the coast guard received a phone call from a platform in vermillion block 371. that platform 380 was on fire and engulfed in flames. platform 371's helicopter, owned by bristo, flew to the scene and confirmed the fire, and 13 people in the water. this was 80 nautical miles south of vermillion bay. the coast guard then launched five helicopters from air station new orleans. two helicopters from air station houston, one fixed-wing c-144 from the station in mobile, four patrol boats, one 175-foot kirt and one 210-foot cutter. the bristow-owned helicopter saw 13 people in the water closely together wearing survival suits. the owner of platform 380, mariner energy, confirmed that only 13 people were on the platform today.
5:11pm
the offshore supply vessel, crystal clear, recovered all 13 survivors from the water and transported them to the closest platform in vermillion block 371. a civilian air ambulance helicopter and three coast guard helicopters transported survivors to terrabone medical hospital for attention. all survivors arrived between 2:30 and 3:30 this afternoon. mariner energy, the owner of the platform, has followed their fire response plan, and the fire is now extinguished. the coast guard cutter skip jack is on scene and has assumed on-scene commander duties and continues to monitor the situation. that's all i have prepared at this point, and i'm ready to answer any questions you might have. >> there were reports of oil in the water. the guy who is saying no sheen whatsoever. why the conflicting reports earlier to now? >> yes, sir. the initial report came from
5:12pm
mariner energy themselves, and their responding boat gave that report, and what i can tell you now is that the boats and the aircraft on scene cannot see a sheen, so we remain obviously ready to respond if one sheen or any sheen becomes visible. >> are you actually looking below the surface to check? >> yes, sir, we're actively looking. the boats on scene are looking. we'll have aerial patrols that will be looking as well. >> tell us a little bit about what the status was of the operation. >> well, unfortunately, i can't comment on that. that will be the subject of an investigation, and i can't go into that -- anything that -- >> was it in production? >> i believe it was in production at the time. height shirt in the front. >> how long before --
5:13pm
[ inaudible question [. >> the company now reports it has been shut down, and, of course, we continue to monitor that to make double sure and quadruple sure that that's the case. we'll continue to monitor it. they tell us right now that it has been shut down. >> this platform is connected to separate wells? are you checking the connections to the wells underwater? >> again, that's something that i would rather not speculate on at this point. the company monitors each of those wells, and so their data showed that there's no flow through them. >> what were they doing on the well? what kind of work were they doing on the well? >> i'm sorry, say that again. >> what kind of work were they doing on the well? >> that, again, that's something that will be part of the investigation. i don't know what kind of work they were doing that was -- today that might have caused anything. >> all right. there's the latest information
5:14pm
from captain peter troedsson from the u.s. coast guard, basically saying the 13 folks working on this platform is okay. the fire is out. he insists there are no reports of a visible sheen, meaning oil, on the surface of the gulf of mexico, but they are monitoring it. they are taking a closer look. they are investigating certainly the cause of this explosion that caused the fire and this incident, this second incident of this oil platform exploding in the gulf of mexico. we'll stay on top of this for you and update you when we get more information. certainly a lot of folks in the gulf of mexico, louisiana, and elsewhere, they are deeply concerned about this second incident. as middle east leaders talk, hillary clinton has been very visible, but just what role is the secretary of state playing in these israeli/palestinian negotiations? and is controversial arizona sheriff joe arpaio now in legal trouble himself? why he's being sued by the u.s. justice department. plus, the united states confronts iran, on the
5:15pm
basketball court. did the players leave world politics behind? stick around. you're in "the situation room." ( revving, siren blares )
5:16pm
there's no way to hide it. sir, have you been drinking tonight? if you ride drunk, you will get caught... and you will get arrested. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. the lexus golden opportunity sales event.
5:17pm
lease the 2010 is 250 for $349 a month for 36 months with $3,489 due at signing. see your lexus dealer. jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." >> when it comes to the mid-term elections the question now is how bloody will things get for the democrats. every day brings more bad news.
5:18pm
here's the latest batch. a new "usa today"/gallup poll think republicans in congress will do a better job than democrats in handling seven out of nine key issues. these include terrorism, immigration, federal spending, the economy, afghanistan, jobs and corruption in government. the two parties are essentially tied when it comes to health care. the only issue where the democrats score higher is the environment which is not exactly the one that's going to bring people race together polls come november. republicans have to win 39 seats to gain control of the house of representatives. some experts are predicting they could win 51, even 60. some even think that democratic control of the senate is a possibility, but that's much more of a long shot. and it's not just about congress either. democrats are at risk of losing the governorships of some states that almost always lean left, places like michigan, pennsylvania, maybe even president obama's home state of illinois.
5:19pm
so, with the democrats poised to get a beating in 60 days and with everybody saying it's the economy, stupid, the president has chosen this time to take another shot at peace in the middle east. a noble cause for sure, but for decades american presidents have tried and failed. a column in "the daily beast" this morning called the peace talk charade and suggests the situation is exactly the same as it was three years ago under president bush, and neither the israelis nor the palestinians have confidence in mr. obama's ability to broker a deal. so here's the question this hour. why have voters fallen out of love with the democrats? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog. wolf? >> we'll find out pretty soon, november 2nd. it's not that long away, jack. >> your heartbeat is going up a little, isn't it? >> well, i love politics. >> i know. >> did i ever mention that? >> start hyperventilating months ahead of time. >> always good. stand by, jack. stand by.
5:20pm
want to continue this conversation with our senior political analyst david gergen who is joining us now. david, you saw the cover in today's "new york post." now earn that nobel peace prize, mr. president. let's put it up on the screen. there it is. is there any way you think in the next year the obama administration, led by the president, the secretary of state, are going to achieve an israeli/palestinian peace agreement? >> well, wolf, there are encouraging signs here early on, at least about process. the fact that the -- both sides agreed today to meet every two weeks. that was a breakthrough and shows a seriousness of purpose, but the -- the compromises so far are on process and not on substance and so far there's been no indication of that. and as to the president, king abdullah of jordan last night directly called for the president to play a very active role, and we know from sources that president mubarak of egypt very much wants the president to be right in the middle of this,
5:21pm
and it looks like to me the president wants to be in the middle of it, but one has to wonder, given the amount of time we've seen president clinton or president carter devote to this, whether that's what the american people want. you know, they want the president, as he said a couple of nights ago, to be focused on jobs and focused on economic recovery here at home, and just as a year ago people were concerned when he spend so much time on health care and not on the economy, if he now begins to invest a lot of time on the middle east, you know, which has been a graveyard for a lot of efforts in the past, as jack cafferty just said, i think americans are going to have some doubts about the wisdom of that. >> those of us who have covered these peace kind of negotiations for many years know it's going to be almost impossible for the israelis and the palestinians to make the very difficult concessions they need to make if they are just talking, for example, to senator mitchell or even to the secretary of state hillary clinton. it's going to take the president of the united states to get them
5:22pm
both together, as jimmy carter did back in 1978, '79 in achieving the israeli/egyptian peace treaty. >> well, i do think, wolf, and the fact that hillary clinton is the secretary of state and given her international star power, that that's actually an asset for the president than she could play -- i don't know whether she would be a henry kissinger shuttling back and forth, but she could be the strong secretary of state that's needed in this situation and working with george mitchell who is a very effective negotiator as we know from the northern ireland situation. she could, in effect, i think the president could let her take the lead for now and then come in later if in fact the talks are going well. but, you know, we've got a big, big deadline coming up here just a little while from now later in september when the first big major substantive issue comes to the floor about these settlements. mr. netanyahu is under enormous pressure within his own party, you know, to end the moratorium on settlements, to begin construction and doing so
5:23pm
aggressively, and it's conceivable he could even lose power if he doesn't do something on settlements. on the other hand, the palestinians are saying if you go forward with settlements, forget the talks. >> it's going to be huge. >> it's crunch point. >> and it's only a couple or three weeks away before we figure out and see what's going to happen on that front. >> all right. thanks very much, david, for that. we'll stay on top of these negotiations over the next year, if they last that long. only a matter of hours before hurricane earl slams parts of the eastern seaboard. we're tracking this massive category three storm from our hurricane headquarters and on the ground. we'll have a live report. plus, it's a whopper of a deal. we're going to tell you why the popular fast food joint burger king is about to get a brand new owner.
5:24pm
we could've gone a more traditional route... ... but it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable. ♪ [humming] ooh! here we go. what?
5:25pm
whaaat? [kids giggling] announcer: you don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent, because kids in foster care don't need perfection. they need you.
5:26pm
fredericka whitfield is monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. fred, what's going on? >> hello to you, wolf. hello, everyone. well, the federal government is suing controversial arizona sheriff joe arpaio saying that he isn't cooperating with a justice department investigation. the government is looking into claims that some of the sheriff's department practices discriminate against latinos. in a news conference just hours
5:27pm
ago, the sheriff was defiant and denied any allegations of discrimination. and burger king has a new king. the company has agreed to be acquired by investment firm 3g capital in a deal valued at $4 billion. the fast food chain operates more than 12,000 restaurants in all 50 states and in 76 countries. it has struggled more than rival mcdonald's in the midst of high u.s. unemployment, and burger king stock closed up 25% today. the united states versus iran is working out in team saw's favor, that is in the sports arena. the american basketball team beat iran 88-51 in world championship play in turkey. the contentious relationship between the countries stayed off the court. the u.s. player kevin love said, quote, at the end of the day, it was just basketball. i'll let cnn talk about all that stuff, end quote. wolf, pretty good play on the court action.
5:28pm
>> good for the team usa. thanks very much, fred, for that. another oil platform goes up in flames in the gulf of mexico. workers are rescued, but is there a big pollution risk? i'll ask an expert on the oil industry, and defense secretary robert gates visits afghanistan and talks about corruption involving the president of afghanistan hamid karzai. when the stage is set. and the cast has been gathered. when the curtain rises. and the spotlight is yours. having a strong signal at your back... is like having invisible power everywhere. because in that moment... you're not there to take up space. you're there to fill the room. rule the air. verizon. right now, buy a blackberry smartphone and get a second one free. like the bold. only at verizon.
5:29pm
5:30pm
some diplomatic hand-holding from the secretary of state hillary clinton, the israelis and palestinians sat down face to face today over at the state department and agreed to step up work for a framework for a peace treaty. they set a one-year deadline for a blueprint deal. our senior white house correspondent ed henry is following this story for us. all right. how did it go today, ed? >> reporter: well, wolf, when you talk to senior u.s. officials they say behind closed doors they are seeing pretty good chemistry between the
5:31pm
israeli and palestinian officials, and one senior official i spoke to at the beginning of this process told me that there would be two barometers when all of this was ending, these direct talks today. he said this a few days ago. number one, would senator george mitchell, the former senator and president's special envoy, come out and give a specific date for round two of these talks or a vague promise of meetings down the road? he did come out and say september 1th and 15th. very specifically will be round two of these talks. secondly, the senior official told me would the talks happen in the u.s.? the second round, or would it be in the middle east? senator mitchell didn't get too specific about where the talks will be, but i'm told by senior officials they are going to be in egypt, and that's a sign that the israelis and palestinians want to show that they can stand on their own two feet and they don't need the u.s. dragging this along, propping it up, if you will. now, secretary of state clinton will still be on the sidelines certainly for the second round of talks but the fact that they will do it in the region is seen
5:32pm
here at the white house as a positive sign. >> did your sources say whether the talks would be in cairo or ksharm el-sheikh, the southern peninsula? >> based on past experience and you know better than anyone, there's been a whole battery of peace negotiations in ksharm el-sheikh. that seems like the most likely location, wolf. >> thanks for reporting from the white house. as the obama administration shifts its focus from iraq to afghanistan, defense secretary robert gates arrived saying no matter how difficult the struggle gets, the united states will not be fighting there 15 years from now. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. what did the secretary say about his meeting with the afghan president, hamid karzai, because a lot of u.s. officials are quickly losing confidence in karzai. >> reporter: well, you know, wolf, one of the main issues that continues to be a source of contention between both sides are the allegations of
5:33pm
corruption in the government of afghan president, hamid karzai. u.s. troops are fighting there, but is the government they are trying to support really an honest and forthright broker for the people of afghanistan? it was a major issue when defense secretary gates sat down with karzai today and then when they both faced reporters, have a listen to what both men had to say. >> i think that the key here is that the fight against corruption needs to be afghan-led. this is a sovereign country. its government elected by its people, and -- and we think that organizations such as the major crimes task force and the special investigations unit are important, but they need to be run under afghan auspices. >> and i hope you would do the job of conveying the concerns of
5:34pm
afghan people and me as the president of this country to work towards building an afghanistan with the help of the united states and our other allies that is based on proper laws and regulations that is a lawful state, not an abusive police state. we should fight corruption, but corruption has to be fought legally and correctly, not in a manner of banditry or violation of the rights of the people. >> so, wolf, what's really going on here. well, a top karzai aide had been arrested on allegations of corruption. karzai said that the man was arrested inappropriately. he had him released from custody. this really set the u.s. teeth on edge. general david petraeus acknowledging that there was friction about all of this but saying that he had heard karzai
5:35pm
personally assure president obama that he will fight corruption. that is going to be a major issue for the next several months. wolf? >> because a lot of u.s. officials are deeply worried about karzai right now. all right. barbara, thanks very much. let's get some background on hamid karzai. educated in part in indflorida, fluent in several languages. from 1992 to 1993 karzai served as the deputy foreign minister in the afghan government after the fall of the soviet union. later he briefly aligned himself with the taliban briefly, but he declined to become taliban's ambassador to the united nations. in 1993 his father was murdered in pakistan, allegedly by the taliban. two years later mr. karzai worked with the u.s. government to overthrow the taliban from power in afghanistan. shortly after he was chosen as the interim leader of afghanistan, and in december 2004 karzai was elected president of afghanistan. so how stable is the karzai
5:36pm
government? i'll speak with the former u.n. special representative to afghanistan, peter galbraith. that will be coming up in the next hour. stunning new images of charred ferraris now prompting a major recall of the supercar. we'll tell you what's believed to be sparking these sudden fires. plus, a popular physicist weighs in on the age-old debate over whether god created the universe. full-time moms... and everyone who is good at something but wants to be great. welcome to kaplan university. the university that's changing the face of education... to undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees... degrees that can give you a leg up... in a tough job market... in any job market... welcome. welcome to kaplan university. call kaplan university now or visit us on-line to take our free learning assessment. there's no way to hide it. sir, have you been drinking tonight?
5:37pm
if you ride drunk, you will get caught... and you will get arrested. this site has a should i try priceline instead? >> no it's a sale. nothing beats a sale! wrong move! you. you can save up to half off that sale when you name your own price on priceline. but this one's a deal...trust me. it's only pretending to be a deal. here, bid $79. got it. wow! you win this time good twin! there's no disguising the real deal.
5:38pm
5:39pm
powerful category 3 storm moving towards cape hatteras, north carolina. within the next few hours we'll have a full report. chad myers with the latest forecast. rob marciano right in the middle of it all. stand by. we're going to north carolina. meantime, let's check in with fred. she's monitoring some of the other stories in "the situation room" right now. fred, what else is going on? >> reporter: hello, again, wolf and everyone. mexico's president is touting success against drug cartels. in his fourth annual state of the nation speech, president felipe calderon notes that law enforcement killed or captured three drug kingpins in the past year since he took office in 2006. officials have arrested more than 100 cartel leaders and more than 5,000 hitmen. but in that time more than 28,000 people died in drug-related celebs. and ferrari is recalling its new luxury supercar because of incidents just like that. the company is reporting five
5:40pm
instances of the 458 italia models catching fire. the car's heat shield can come too close to the exhaust system and ignite. ferrari north america will start notifying affected customers within two weeks. the supercar has a base price around $230,000. and physicist steve hawking says god did not create the universe arguing that it was an inevitable consequence of the law of physics. "the times of london" published an excerpt from hawking's new book "the grand design." in it he says because of gravity the universe can and will create itself from nothing, end quote. the book hits stores next week. wolf? >> going to cause another huge debate on this very subject. fred, thanks. >> oh, just the beginning. new predictions that the democrats could lose the house of representatives this fall. is it a realistic possibility? we'll talk about that and more in our strategy session. plus, hurricane earl set to hit the east coast of the united
5:41pm
states only a few hours from now. we'll have the latest update on this category 3 storm. [ child] come on, kiddo, let's go. [ laughs ] hold on a second... come on up here where your brothers sit. [ birds chirping ] wow! did i ever tell you what it was like growing up with four sisters? that sounds fun. yeah...fun for them! [ male announcer ] chevy traverse. a consumers digest best buy. with a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
5:42pm
it seats eight comfortably -- not that it always has to.
5:43pm
the white house has just announced that the president will hold a full-scale news conference next friday, a week from tomorrow, in the east room over at the white house. of course, cnn will have coverage. this, by the way, is his first formal q&a with white house reporters in some four months. this kind of full-scale white house news conference, next friday over at the white house. let's talk about that and more in our strategy session. joining us now, two cnn political contributors. the democratic strategist paul begala and the republican strategist ed rollins. this is a big deal or a little deal, finally going to start taking questions from that white house press corps, paul? >> i think it's always good. i like when presidents do this. it focuses the mind. it focuses the staff and it focuses the president. it will require him actually to figure out where he stands on a few things that are kind of percolating through the system, so i love when they do this.
5:44pm
i used to love the dry runs to try to predict what evil nasty questions you'd be asking president clinton back in my day. didn't succeed very much on that, but i think it's great. good for the president and good for the country is? >> what do you think? always good for the president to go before the public. gibbs obviously has the daily cutie and not being as effective. president has not had great press conferences and needs one if he's going to set a tone here for this fall. >> when you say gibbs isn't as effective as he can be, elaborate a little bit, ed. what do you mean by that? >> he hasn't gotten out of the campaign mode. he needs to communicate to the american public what the story is and he's too combative and gotten more and more combative as time has gone on. >> let's talk about larry sabato, a guy you both know, analyst over the university of politics and has his new crystal ball looking out to november 2nd and says given what we can see at this moment the republicans have a good chance to win the house by picking up as many as
5:45pm
47 seats net. remember, you need 39 in order to have john boehner become the speaker of the house. in the senate the republicans have an outside shot of winning full control, that would be plus ten, but are more likely to end up with plus eight or maybe plus nine. is he on target, paul? >> you know, first off, he's a highly respected guy, larry sabato, uva, not the university of texas but not a bad school, uva. i can't say he's got an ax to grind. i've been saying all year on your program, telling democrats my strategy is three words, build an arc. this could be category 4 or 5. we should have chad myers tracking this storm that's coming to hit the democrats, but here's what they need to do, not just sit there passively and wait for the storm to hit. they need to build an ark and get out in front of this and put the republicans on trial. embrace the fact that the congress may well switch and say what will the republicans do, privatize social security, cut taxes for the rich and ship jobs overseas. that's the economic republican plan in the eyes of democrats. they need to start making like
5:46pm
this press conference next friday. let's see how fast before president obama starts talking about shipping jobs overseas and social security being privatized. if he's on those kinds of messages, it will tell us that the democrats are getting on the offense here. >> reality, ed, you know and so does paul that the republicans can talk about all those things if they want to, but getting that done with the president of the united states and the white house and the veto pen, it's a lot more difficult, even if you have the majority in the house and even in the senate. the president can veto that kind of legislation. >> yeah. i don't think anything is going to happen in the -- i think everyone is now worried about getting re-elected. when you look at whether it's larry sabato who i have great respect for or charlie cook, one of the great analysts, everybody has 70, 80 members, democrat members, who are basically in vulnerable seats. rahm emanuel did a very effective job with paul's help in 2006 and 2008 recruiting candidates that won 50-plus seats, and they were republican seats. most of these seats are now in jeopardy, particularly if republicans turn out.
5:47pm
a lot of animosity towards obama. our side has intensified. still got to win them. i never take them until we win them. >> ed, we heard what paul says the president and the democrats need to do now between now and november. second, what advice do you have for them? >> well, i'm not going to giver them any advice. i think paul gives them great advice what. i'm going to say to my side is basically you've got to articulate what it is that you're about, that you're going to go there and make sure that more of this big spending and this deficit spending and more of these programs like the health care are not going to be implemented and that the bottom line sheer that you're going to go fight for ordinary people out there, the middle class that is obviously suffering and really go out and aggressively draw the line in the sand and say electing us creates a block on what the obama and pelosi and them want to do. >> where did the democrats go wrong in the last year and a half, paul? why has it come down to a popular president, the democrats with decisive majorities, lopsided majorities in the house and the senate, and now they are
5:48pm
facing a bloodbath? where did the democrats go wrong? >> well, you know what our buddy james carville would say. it's still the economy, stupid, you know. when you've got 9.5% official unemployment, and it's really 15%, 16%, if you count people who have given up or have taken jobs below their skill levels or part-time, you have 15%, 16% unemployment, they are going to want to run you out of power, and so it's -- i think the democrats have first and foremost a reality problem. they have a terrible economy, and that's the most important thing. they also have a political problem, but that's secondary, and i think the way to address that though is as i said before put the republicans on trial. don't try to tell the country you've done such a great job on everything when things are so bad, but instead said, you know, those guys are worse, and -- and that's probably -- that's a little negative message, but i like negative politics. rollins is a very gentle soul. >> he loves negative politics. in his day he was pretty good at that kind of stuff, as were you. >> he's a boxer. he could kick my butt still. >> i doubt that. i do love this environment for
5:49pm
us. i suffered -- i'm a little older than paul and i've been through a lot of these and i've watched -- they are cycles. this is a good cycle for us, and if we do get the majority back, we do get close in the senate, we've got to make things happen, and the one good thing about this is that it will force the white house and come and deal with republicans in a real way. they didn't have to deal with republicans because they had majorities in the house and senate. they will have to deal with us, either way, we have the majority or we're close. >> did you notice, guys, the white house announced today the president is going to go back to ohio next week, yet again, that key battleground state. i think he and his people are looking ahead to 2012 a little bit, but we'll discuss that on another occasion. paul begala and ed rollins, guys, thanks very much. >> thank you. another oil platform fire. is there a risk of more pollution in the gulf of mexico? we'll get the latest. and hurricane earl, bearing down on the east coast right now. we'll have the latest forecast, and we'll take you to a place likely to feel the impact within the next few hours.
5:50pm
5:51pm
5:52pm
jack with the cafferty file. >> why have the voters fallen out of love with the democrats?
5:53pm
rick says that the number one reason is that the democrats pass legislation against the wishes of the majority of americans. i will not vote for any democrat under those circumstances for any office whatsoever. jan from north carolina, four words, nancy pelosi, harry reid. larry in providence, americans don't have long memories and also want immediate gratification. they don't take time to think that eight years of a disastrous administration cannot be fixed overnight. let them vote the republicans in, and it won't be long before the question s why have the voters fallen out of love with the republicans? phil in florida writes, when you have control of both houses, and you can't get anything accomplished for fee of losing your job, what reason would anyone want to keep you around? term limit is the only way that this country will ever grow. jerry in georgia writes that the answer lies in leadership, and pelosi, and reid, and obama, not a leader in the bunch. once the democrats can pix a trustworthy and responsible and
5:54pm
experienced leaderer, they will be back. joan in minnesota, that is an easy one, they are liars and we come from a generation of democrats all 325 of us in our family have been democrats for generations. and we have had it with the democrats. ralph writes, what is the average iq of the american voter? h.l. mencken said it best, democracy is a form of religion. it is the worship of jackals by jackasses. if you want to read more go to my blog at cnn.com/caffertyfile. >> smart people, thank you very much. >> you r're welcome. an oil platform breaks out into fire. we will look into what happened today. and militias are blowing up the artillery in a move that could change the face of war. ring ring. progresso.
5:55pm
why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. we know. boss: and now i'll turn it over i gecko: ah, t, ecko. as we all know, geico has been saving people money on rv, camper and trailer insurance... ...as well as motorcycle insurance... gecko: oh...sorry, technical difficulties. boss: uh...what about this? gecko: what's this one do? gecko: um...maybe that one. ♪ dance music boss: ok, let's keep rolling. we're on motorcycle insurance.
5:56pm
vo: take fifteen minutes to see how much you can save on motorcycle, rv, and camper insurance.
5:57pm
potentially, we could have a change in war as we know it. our cnn international correspondent matthew chance shows us why russia's military is literally inflating its own artille
5:58pm
artillery. >> reporter: the pride of russia's military on parade at the capital. this former superpower has a bizarre military secret. outside of moscow, it is blown up, literally. in the event of war, inflatable hardware like this fake missile launcher could be deployed on the frontlines and tanks, too, were available in blow-up form designed to confuse and mislead russia's enemies, and the trick say the manufacturers is in the detail. >> this is an additional fuel tank. >> reporter: whoa. on this -- why would you need an additional fuel tank for an inflatable? >> because we have several tanks, and the real thing, something snap this one -- >> and it is to make it look more realistic? >> yes, yes. >> reporter: the company's design team draw up the complex
5:59pm
patterns needed to create convincing fakes. the arsenal is being stitched together from blow-up fighter jets to artillery guns to radars. well, the interesting thing is that the russian military has now ordered large numbers of these inflatables, specifically replicas of the latest battle tank and sophisticated missile systems. for russia, it seems that fooling the enemy may be a important part of the future war strategy. critics say that the money could be better spent on improving russia's real decrepit hardware. but now the cheap fakes are filling in as a stand-in. moscow. you are in "the situation room." breaking news, a earthquake closing in on the east coast. mandatory evacuations are under way. we are tracking hurricane earl.
6:00pm
we will get you the latest coming up. and also, breaking news off of the gulf of mexico. a fire on an oil and gas platform, and workers are forced to leap for their lives into the water. we have new details this hour. major afghan bank on the verge of collapse. it is threatening to take the country's fragile economy with it. and now the brother of the afghan president wants a bank bailout from the united states of america. we want to welcome the viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, and you are in i'm wolf blitzer, and you are in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we are following the breaking news on hurricane earl right now. a new update just out in the last hour from the national hurricane center. here are the latest developments. earl remains a category 3 storm, but it has weakened a little bit this afternoon with the maximum sustained winds down to 115 miles an hour. earl is prompting watches and warnings all a long the eastern
6:01pm
seaboard from north carolina all of the way up to canada. cnn's meteorologist rob marciano is on the outer banks of north carolina where mandatory evacuation orders are now in effect. but let's begin with our meteorologist and severe weather expert chad myers at the cnn hurricane headquarters in atlanta. what is the latest forecast? >> well, the latest forecast is for it still to start losing steam, and it is going to continue to do that. we knew that was going to happen. it is getting torn apart by the winds in the atmosphere which will actually make it turn away from north carolina. that much anticipated turn that took like ten days too long to happen. right now 115 miles per hour. and the threshold is 111. when it is below 111 miles an hour, it is a category 2 which is expected later on tonight as it moves away. we can now see the storm on the radar. the radar is out of north carolina, and there it is. in fact, 217 miles from cape
6:02pm
hatteras, about 260 miles to kill devil hills, but there is the eye of the storm right now on doppler radar. so we know it is moving, and we know it is beginning to turn away. eventually, it may be a slow and painful turn. we knew though, and we knew this, that if it did not turn, wolf, it would slam right into the outer banks. still a possibility that it could wobble back to the left and go right along the outer banks, and those fragile dunes all of the way from here up to kill devil hills, and that is not going to look like the forecast, and that is not what the computers are saying, but now it is finally doing what it has been predicted to do for so long. wolf? >> we have a lot of viewers who are worried further up the eastern seaboard whether in new jersey or new york or new england, and right here in washington, d.c., what can they expect? >> well, eventually, this is going to make a kind of run at what we would call the eastern sections of long island, and
6:03pm
maybe toward nantucket, and even toward cape cod. that forecast as it continues to lose steam, 85 miles per hour, but that approach is late tomorrow night, and 10, 12, maybe 2:00 in the morning saturday morning and that will take it to the east of cape cod, cape hat rteras here and nantuct here, and finally the glancing blow as it turns, but the biggest threat. the biggest threat to life is if you are in the water with those rip currents that are going to be everywhere from new york all of the way down to florida for the next few days. >> stay out of the water. and what about the viewers in canada? how worried should they be? >> they should be very worried, because that is the next step. it will eventually turn back to the left, and get into nova scotia, and this is the bay of fundy, and very large swell. if you go to google bay of fundy, and figure out the tide that they get in there. it could be at times 40 feet from low tide to high tide and if you ram a hurricane into that
6:04pm
bay of fundy, you will increase the tides again, also, all along toward st. john's and the on shore pounding, but you know, those people up there in atlantic, and the canada, and the maritimes, they are a hearty bunch if you have never met them. they can take it. >> great part of canada. thank you very much. standby, chad. and north carolina's outer banks are hours away from feeling the storm, and our meteorologist rob marciano is there in kill devil. we have new satellite pictures that i withn't to show the viewers because it shows the power and the strength of the hurricane earl. i can see the wind picking up behind you and the surf as well. set the scener to us. >> reporter: well, it has been a slow and developing day, and started out sunny at times with a light breeze, but things have deteriorated throughout the day. and the size of the storm as it has grown at one point being a huge category 4 storm, and i can tell you that the pulse of the community went from a little bit more casual yesterday to one of
6:05pm
the much more concern and serious today with those evacuation orders being made. there was more of an exodus and more immediacy today, and i can tell you that and there were more accidents on the main highway to get out of there because of all of that and this coming in. we have east winds picking up. not quite tropical storm strength, but we do expect that in the next couple of hours. and behind me, you can see that the atlantic is getting more fierce, and the whitewash out there, and the big story as high tide comes in, it is not high tide, but low tide, and later on this evening, it is high tide, and those winds will get bigger. the difference between here and the gulf of mexico, and most of the action tropically has been in the gulf, and you will get a massive storm surge. here the layout is different and the waves are the bigger issue. pounting surf, 20 or 30-foot high waves will be the main concern there. are slivers of the outer banks that are just that, slivers. so those waves could actually
6:06pm
cut through and overwash the roads. when hurricane isabel came through in 2003, it made a new inlet which has been since rebuilt, and may be cut again. but points south of here, mandatory evacuations for both visitors and permanent residents here and points north for mostly just visitors. so, here we go, and things will begin to ramp up tonight. if that eye moves any further to the west, we will see some issues. i did notice that it did grow a little bit, and the focus of the center of this storm, wolf, you know, you have to remember that the diameter of this eye is 20, 30 miles wide, so if you look at the center, the center may stay off shore, but the western eyewall could rake this coastline and we will talk more than rip currents, but we will be talking about wind damage here as this storm potentially pounds this area for six to 12 hours before it moves up to new england. >> be careful, rob. we will stay in close touch with you. rob marciano on the scene in kill devil hills in south
6:07pm
carolina. and there is news that in the gulf of mexico, there is a oil platform on fire. 13 people have been rescued from the water, and of course, the immediate fear is another oil disaster. cnn's tom forman is working this story for us. tom, what is going on right now, and what do we know? >> well, the most important thing we know, wolf, is that the fire is now out on this rig which is about 102 miles south of the coast of louisiana out here, and here is a picture of it erl y fler the day when it was burning. important to know that this is a production rig which is different from the drilling rig that bp was using. industry folks are making a big point of it today, because they are saying, look, this is involved in producing oil and natural gas which means that there are a lot of things that have been sealed in and much more controlled environment. they don't even have a blow-out preventer here like on a drilling rig, because ale of this is much more permanent. they have many valves and things that shut off the flow of oil and natural gas, and they say that all of those were triggered right about the time this
6:08pm
happened which kept any big leak from happening. that is their claim right now and obviously the authorities are trying to ascertain if that is true. s you mentioned 13 people in the water and the coast guard found them floating in the hour for about two hours before they could be rescued. apparently, no serious injuries is what we are told. let's talk about the differences between this and bp, because they are important and profound. 102 miles off of the coast, and the bp spill which is over in this area was 80 miles off of the coast. but the big difference is where they are. this is in 300 feet of water or something like that when you look at the shelf area. you move across the continental shelf here and when i bring up a better map, there is a drop ah here and this is not the shallow water or the deepwater horizon as the name implies in deep water over here and a rig producing 25 times as much one today and also, the rig broke
6:09pm
down a mile on the ocean floor and difficult to get at. but again, no sign of a spill, but big differences if there had been one. >> any suspicion or the cause of the explosion? >> they have suspicions, but no proof yet. they are launching an investigation and they will look for specific sources of it, but they are focusing on a tank that held some of the separating the oil from the natural gas. >> more on the story as the information comes in. thank you, tom. more than six weeks af a cap was finally placed on bp's ruptured well in the gulf of mexico, crews today removed it. it is a critical first step in removing the blow-out preventer whose spectacular failure led to the explosion and fire that triggered the oil disaster in april. officials hope to find valuable evidence inside of the blowout preventer and replace it with a new one. this would be a major step toward the fix of the worst oil
6:10pm
spill in american history. jack cafferty is coming up with the cafferty file. and then children holding on the hope in the middle of a disaster. our own dr. sanjay gupta is in pakistan with the youngest victims. and calls to bailout an afghan bank on the verge of collapse is raising new concern about the stability of the government in afghanistan and the overall u.s. mission. plus, the arizona governor's awkward moment in a debate. what impact will it have on the campaign? you will see jan brewer's face-off. she fumbled. we will tell you why, and what happened. stay with us.
6:11pm
so why are over a thousand people a day switching to chevrolet? room for eight and all sorts of space behind the third row. they just thought of everything. it just feels like a really solid car. that should come in handy. it's the chevrolet summer event and anyone can get the traverse they want. nah-uh... this one's mine. get 0% apr for 60 months on the 2010 traverse with an average finance savings of around fifty seven hundred. the switch begins at chevydealer.com.
6:12pm
6:13pm
jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file. jack? >> wolf, for those americans lucky enough to have a job, stress is the biggest complaint about their work. a new gallup poll shows that a majority of the u.s. workers are completely dissatisfied with their job including relations with the co-workers and the flexibility of the hours and the boss or the immediate supervisor and the amount of work that is required of them. they are least satisfied with stress followed by their pay, their retirement plan, health insurance benefits and chances for promotion. the poll shows that 48% of workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. that's similar to the
6:14pm
satisfaction levels of the last several years, despite the onset of the global financial crisis. what is more, job satisfaction is higher now than it was a decade ago. go figure. workers are more satisfied with several aspects of the job than they were in 2001. experts suggest that means that either employers have become more generous, not likely, or maybe the employees are more grateful to have a job or easier to please since the economy went off the cliff. much more likely. meanwhile, the national unemployment rate is 9.5%. underemployment in this country is estimated at double that figure. stay tuned for the monthly jobs report that comes out at 8:30 in the morning, because you can bet it is gone over with a fine-toothed comb for any signs that businesses are beginning to hire. here is the question then. what's the biggest complaint about your job? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and unburden yourself. what is your biggest complaint about your job? >> i have no complaints at all.
6:15pm
>> i figured you would say that. >> and all of the people who have jobs right now given the current state of the economy should be grateful they have a job. >> and the research indicated that people are a little more appreciative of having a paycheck and employment than maybe they were a decade or so ago, because it is tough out there right now. >> very tough. and tomorrow morning's numbers dot in sound like they will be very good at all. >> no. >> all right. jack, thank you. meanwhile, the united states is launching another major program right now in flood-ravaged pakistan to try to help the families devastated by the horrible disaster. the united nations now warning that children are especially at ris. >> frank: sglsh r risk with the floods, and dr. sanjay gupta is witnessing the crisis firsthand at the refugee camps and tells us in this report that children are hoping for the future. >> reporter: here in pakistan,
6:16pm
there are fields of dreams. they look like this. mixed with pain and poverty, but spend some time here and look closer. so this is something that you would not maybe expect to see. we are in this tent, and all of the kids in the tent are doing their homework. this is ramsha and she is 8 years old. [ speaking foreign language ] she is trying to do her schoolwork she is telling me. she tells me she wants to be a doctor. people here have dreams just like her and other kids who are here with her. they had a real house once they tell me, but it is now covered in water. she had a friend and she went to school, and yes, she had dreams. it is her story, and may not be much different than yours, starting with the neighborhoods they were forced the leave. looking at all of the images, you may think that people affected be i the flood only lived in little grass huts.
6:17pm
not true. real neighborhoods affected by this flood as well. homes, and all of the people had to flee these, also. and she ended up here. no idea how long she will stay, so she does her homework and her parents' mission is to establish some sort of normalcy for the kids. a routine for rashma rooted in religion. this is aid distributed here with rice and chick peas and they put it in big buckets and distribute it to the tents. one thing that may vise you a little bit is that they wait until the sun goes down, because it is ramadan and even in a camp like this, they abide by the rules, no food in between. she and others in the camp are surprised when i share reports about the floodwaters starting to recede. surprised, because just this week another million people in southern pakistan became displaced. fleeing waters on the rise. she said she knows some english
6:18pm
and she wanted to try it out with me as well. so what is your name? >> my name is -- >> and you are answering for her? >> my name is ramshell. >> very good. nothing can change this reality. more than a dozen awful deaths in the past week here, and people who have lost everything simply trying to survive, but that is the thing about hopes and dreams, they are spread equally throughout the world and no one can take them away from you. she says that she really likes to go to school, and she says that she is studying really hard to be a doctor. >> yes. >> yes. do you think that you can do it? >> yes. >> you can do it. dr. sanjay gupta, pakistan. remember to go to cnn.com/impact to impact your
6:19pm
world. if you want to help the people in pakistan. cnn.com/impact. it is a good idea. thanks, sanjay for doing the reports. another oil rig blaze in the gulf of mexico. an oil platform goes up in flames. 13 workers are tossed into the water. are we seeing another bp disaster or something very different? and a debatable performance. can arizona's governor recover can arizona's governor recover e. d bobobobobo can arizona's governor recover e. see, with welcomerewards, no matter where you accumulate 10 nights, you get a free one. huh. smarter. [ male announcer ] accumulate 10 nights and get a night free. welcomerewards from hotels.com. smart. so smart.
6:20pm
we get double miles on every purchase. so we earned an l.a. getaway twice as fast. we get double miles every time we use our card. no matter what we're buying. and since double miles add up quick... romans! get em! [ garth ] ...we can bring the whole gang. [ sheep bleats ] it's hard to beat double miles. whoa -- he's on the list. but we're with him. [ male announcer ] introducing the venture card from capital one with double miles on every purchase every day. go to capitalone.com. [ indistinct shouting ] what's in your wallet?
6:21pm
6:22pm
and standing by for an update on hurricane earl. you can see it is moving toward cape hatteras in north carolina and should be hitting in the next few hours. chad myers is standing by at the cnn hurricane center, and we will give you all of the information that you need to know coming up in a few moments. let's check in with fredricka whitfield meanwhile because she is monitoring the developments in "the situation room." fredricka, busy day? >> yes. police say that the man who took three people hostages at the discovery channel in washington was armed with two starter pistols. police shot and killed james lee after they say he aimed a gun at
6:23pm
one of the hostages. lee's guns are the types used to start track races, and they say that his pistols are not subject to the regular restrictions of a firearm. and with hillary clinton leading the way, israeli and palestinian leaders agreed to step up efforts to set up a peace treaty. they agreed to meet in two weeks to continue discussions. americans are using more prescription drugs than ever before. new data for the centers for disease and prevention say that all americans take at least one prescription drug. surveys show that the most commonly used prescription drugs for children are ritalin, and antidepressants for adults, and cholesterol lowering drugs for adults over 60. and more trouble for rapper
6:24pm
t.i., because he and his wife was arrested after a smell of marijuana after a traffic stop. the couple is free after posting bail. t.i., whose name is clifford joseph harris is still on probation after serving time in prison of charges of possessing firearms as a convicted felon. and the man who admitted trying to extort $2 million from david letterman is out of prison. robert joe halderman was released early for good behavior after serving four months of a six-month sentence. he pleaded guilty in march of trying to extort money from the late night talk show host in exchange for keeping quiet about letterman's affairs with female staffers. wolf? >> thank you, fred. we will get right back to you for more. "the situation room" by the way is on facebook and you go to facebook.com/cnnsituationroom, and click on the light button and you will get updates and
6:25pm
exclusive behind the scenes material on facebook. new fears in the gulf of mexico. another oil and gas platform catches fire and forcing workers to leap for their lives into the water. we are learning new details. my joints ache so bad, i wake up in pain every day. i want to know why. i want to know why my hair is falling out. how did this happen? how did this happen? a little pain in my knee. that's how it started. that's how it started, this rash on my face. now it's like my body is attacking me. i want answers. announcer: when you don't have the right answers,
6:26pm
it may be time to ask your doctor the right question. could i have lupus? in 2008 i quit venture capital to follow my passion for food. i saw a gap in the market for a fresh culinary brand and launched behindtheburner.com. we create and broadcast content and then distribute it across tv, the web and via mobile. i even use the web to get paid. with acceptpay from american express open, we now invoice advertisers and receive payments digitally. and i get paid on average three weeks faster. booming is never looking for a check in the mail. because it's already in my email. into revolutionary performance. one word makes the difference between defining the mission and accomplishing the mission. one word makes the difference in defending our nation
6:27pm
and the cause of freedom. how... is the word that makes all the difference. an update now on the breaking news. we are following hurricane earl closing in on the u.s. east coast right now.
6:28pm
cnn meteorologist and our severe weather expert chad meyers is at the cnn hurricane headquarters in atlanta. give our viewers an update of what is happening right now, chad. >> down to category 3 which is good, but although it is 115 miles per hour, 115, and the threshold between 2 and 3 is 111. so it is not a big category 3, and lit lose the category 3 status later on tonight, but there is the eye, and you can site on radar. there is cape hatteras, and there is moorhead city, and our rob marciano is up there at kill devils hills. and that is probably six or seven hours from now when we will see the highest winds blowing on shore here and knocking down some of the dunes as rob was talking about a little bit ago. another thing we are talking about, and you think, that you only get updates every one or
6:29pm
two hours? no way. look at the airplane right there, wolf. airplane called miss piggy flying right through it right now, and every notch that you see right there is an indication of what the plane and the people in the plane are feeling. we can keep up to date on this hurricane minute-by-minute by minute, and we will do it all night long. >> and even if it does not hit or make landfall directly, the outer parts of this massive, massive storm are going to have a direct impact? >> no question about it. we talk about that a lot. we talk about don't focus on the eye, because with a storm this large, as it was a category 4 last night, the arms of this storm will circle like this. okay. yes, only the middle will feel the hurricane-force winds, but tropical force winds will go out farther than that and there may be flooding from the heavy rainfall around that. so, yes, a hurricane is a large mass not just the eye. >> thankser have much, chad. we will continue to check back with you.
6:30pm
we will get the latest right now on the fire that was burning in the gulf of mexico today. an offshore oil and natural gas platform went up in flames and 13 people were thrown into the sea. brian todd is following these developments for us. brian, all 13 of the folks have been accounted for? >> all 13 are accounted for according to the coast guard and mariner energy, the owner of the platform. we have dramatic new pictures of this from the tv station from lafayette, louisiana. and in one of the pictures you can see that one of the 13 workers are waiting in the water to be picked up. none of the crew was injured. bobby jindle visited the workers in the hospital, and they were in the water for two hours, and one suffered sun burn, but other than that, there were no injuries. this is 80 miles south of vermillion bay, louisiana, and some say 100 miles south of
6:31pm
there, and mariner says that the fire was reported to the coast guard on a rig 10:20 eastern time, and it burned for several hours. there were earlier reports of a sheen in the water, but a short time ago, the coast guard clarified all of that. >> the fire is out. coast guard helicopters on scene and vessels on scene have no reports of a visible sheen in the water there. is no report of an evidence of leaks, but we continue to investigate and monitor the situation to make sure it does not change. >> all of us will be waiting to make sure it does not change as well, because we have nightmares about the earlier spill off of the deepwater horizon. and mariner energy says that the automated equipment safely shut off the valves to the oil and gas when the fire occurred. this is important to note, it is a oil and gas production platform and not a drilling rig.
6:32pm
this uses the product to the pipeline for the source, and this is not like the drilling rig of the bp rig. >> what did you find? >> well, an official with the bureau of ocean management said that the last time this platform was inspected was january 12th of this year, and this official not able to provide the results of the inspection, but we hope to get them soon. we have found on the bureau's website records of the violations. last year we found a heliport was taken out of commission after a fire. and there was a fine in that incident of $20,000. mariner got hit by that. and last year also, one of the operations was conducted without adequate safety contingencies
6:33pm
and they got a $35,000 fine for that. and in 2006, an employee was injured when he fell 11 feet while working on an electrical fee on a upper deck. they got a $30,000 fee for that incident. but these types of fines from what we have researched are not uncommon in a lot of the rigs, wolf. >> brian, thank you very much, and good report. we will stay on top of the to story for the viewers. arizona governor gives voters a campaign to remember and one she will prefer to forget. stay with us here in "the situation room." [ male announcer ] try fixodent with a time-released formula. use just once per day for dawn-to-dark hold. it is important to use the product as directed. fixodent and forget it.
6:34pm
6:35pm
6:36pm
a very awkward showing by the arizona governor jan brewer in her debate with democratic opponent steve goddard which was followed by a worse run-in with the news media. have a look and listen. >> i have done so much, and i just cannot believe that we have changed everything since i have become your governor if last 600 days. arizona has been brought back from the abyss. we have cut the budget. we have balanced the budget.
6:37pm
and we are moving forward. we have done everything that we could possibly do. we have, did what is right for arizona. >> why wouldn't you recant the comment that you made earlier about the beheadings in the desert? >> that is a serious question, governor? >> well, this was an interesting evening tonight. >> and governor, please answer the question about the head l s headless -- >> thank you. >> governor. governor. >> i'm astonished frankly. >> and let's talk about this with gloria borger and john king who is the host of "john king usa" which begins at the top of the hour. how big of a mistake for the incumbent? >> well, it was painful to
6:38pm
watch. it was a complete meltdown or the answer or lack of an answer in the introductory remarks. look, she is 20 points ahead in the polls. it won't kill the kanld si,acy what is worse is the second clip which is the inability to defend something where she said there were beheadings. you have to have an answer for those questions, and either say, i said it and i stand by it or i was misinformed. >> what are you reading out in arizona? >> well, the democrats say it is a potential opening, but not a huge one. she has been comfortably ahead in all of the statewide polling, be few the state is tuning in and we are in the final stretch of nine weeks to election day, and they saw that, all of us who do television to have empathy for the governor, but as a politician, you have to rehearse, because they tell you when you are ahead like governor brewer, you knock it out of the
6:39pm
park, and you are going to go all of the way. she froze. >> and now, sheriff arpaio got himself in more trouble with the justice department. >> the justice department sued him say sheg not cooperating with the civil rights investigation, and i interviewed him and he says that he has been sandbagged and the lawyers are trying to find out what they need, because they asked for every document in his house. it is going on and on. but the controversy with governor brewer said that there are beheadings, and none of the coroners have issued any statements about a beheading and i asked him about his county or any county and have you heard about a beheading? >> i won't speak for her, because that is her comments. i am not running for governor. i just spent 14 years near the border of mexico, but maybe she is talking about across the
6:40pm
border, but i don't know what she is talking about. i'm not running for governor. you have to ask her what she meant by that, and not me. >> let me set her aside then, have you ever come across evidence or a report from your county or neighboring county of a beheading in arizona? >> well, i haven't. doesn't mean that other people have. i will tell you one thing, there is plenty of beheadings going on right across the border. i hope it does not come across the border into mi copa county. >> i want to state for the record what governor brewer said in the desert in arizona they were finding bodies in the desert in the sand that were beheaded. >> more on this story coming up at the top of the hour. thank you. and a u.s. bailout for a bank in afghanistan? a u.s. bailout for a bank in afghanistan? we have details of an unfolding economic crisis and what it may mean for u.s. taxpayers and the
6:41pm
government of hamid karzai. ght, but your blood sugar may still be high, and you need extra help. ask your doctor about onglyza, a once daily medicine used with diet and exercise to control high blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. adding onglyza to your current oral medicine may help reduce after meal blood sugar spikes and may help reduce high morning blood sugar. [ male announcer ] onglyza should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. tell your doctor if you have a history or risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. onglyza has not been studied with insulin. using onglyza with medicines such as sulfonylureas may cause low blood sugar. some symptoms of low blood sugar are shaking, sweating and rapid heartbeat. call your doctor if you have an allergic reaction like rash, hives or swelling of the face, mouth or throat. ask your doctor if you also take a tzd as swelling in the hands, feet or ankles may worsen. blood tests will check for kidney problems. you may need a lower dose of onglyza if your kidneys are not working well
6:42pm
or if you take certain medicines. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor about adding onglyza. extra help. extra control. you may be eligible to pay $10 a month with the onglyza value card program. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
6:43pm
the afghan president hamid karzai's brother wants the u.s. to bail out the banking system in afghanistan. joining us is peter galbreath, a former correspondent in afghanistan. what does this mean by the brother of hamid karzai for the u.s. taxpayers to bail out the bank? >> well, wolf, you have to admire mahmoud karzai's chutzpah
6:44pm
in this case. it turns out $160 million went missing and looted by the top officials of the bank to buy real estate in dubai and luxury real estate in dubai for them and other top politicians, including apparently members of the karzai family, and depositors have rushed the bank to try to get their money back, and it is not there, and now mahmoud karzai who owns 7% of this bank would like the u.s. taxpayers to bail them out. this is part of a larger picture of the karzai family. one of karzai's other brothers, hamid wally karzai is the power broker in the strategically important kandahar province and he runs a private militia, and the u.s. officials believe he is involved in the drug deealing ad doing deals with the taliban and he stole the election last time.
6:45pm
this is is a level of corruption, and dishonesty that is frankly revolting, and many americans should be asking what are our troops fighting for, and more importantly, it makes it extremely difficult for us to accomplish our mission when this is our partner. >> listen to robert gates, the secretary of defense in kabul this week, and he said this, and i want to play this clip. listen to this. >> we learned our lesson in turns our back on afghanistan in 1989. and we have no intention of doing so again. >> he says that the u.s. is not going to pull out. what -- how do you react when you hear that? >> well, the problem is that we have 100,000 troops, and spending $120 billion a year on a mission to defeat the taliban in a counterinsurgency strategy where all of the architects,
6:46pm
secretary gates, included, say that the central feature for success a credible afghan partner. and the partner that we have runs the second most corrupt country in the world, and he is clearly personally corrupt. he is ineffective and known by diplomats as the mayor of kabul. he is illegitimate, and he stole the last election, and under those circumstances, there is no prospect for success. >> and what should the obama administration do? >> well, it made a huge mistake by tripling the number of troops there. and if you are -- and it is really immoral to be sending troops to fight in a mission that they cannot succeed in because you don't have a credible partner. so i would say is to change the mission to something that is achievable, and namely protecting the nonpashtun parts of the country where the taliban is not present and go to kabul,
6:47pm
and do it with 10,000 troops instead of 100,000. >> i have had officials say to me, peter, in the last few days that they are worried about karzai firing one bureau chief, and getting rid of one security chief, and firing one u.s. ambassador, and do you see him becoming more erratic? >> he has a long history of being erratic and temper tantrums, and now he realizes that he has the u.s. over the barrel and he could do what he wants. this is the product of a big mistake the u.s. made last year when it went along with the u.n. in covering up the massive fraud in afghanistan's presidential elections. and karzai realizes that his weakness is actually means that the u.s. has to back him up, and he came to the u.s. there was a love offensive from president obama and the top officials, and he really thinks
6:48pm
that he has a blank check. the trouble is that with this weird behavior and the corruption that involves him and his family is undermining the chances for success. and not only undermining, but -- >> sorry for interrupting burk on this issue of what the strategy should be i hear in what you are saying, and it seems to be in total disa agreement with general petraeus? >> well, general petraeus if he were here, he would say to you that the strategy is a counterinsurgency strategy, and one that the u.s. troops cannot do it by themselves. they need a credible afghan partner, and so, the only question is, is the government of hamid karzai a credible partner? and frankly, i know that many of the officials in the obama administration privately, they know that -- they see exactly what we all see whatis exemplified at this scandal of the bank, they see a corrupt and
6:49pm
illegitimate government, and petraeus would put a different spin on it, but i suspect in the heart and in private, he knows what the score is. >> president karzai's brother would say this bank is too big to fail, but that refers to another part of the story. peter, thank you for joining us. >> wolf, good to be with you. we are just getting this into cnn here in "the situation room." word that hamas is joining forces with 11 other militant groups to attack israel. this is a new effort as middle east peace is getting under way in washington, and only days after a shooting attack on four israelis in the west bank that left those four people dead. attacks for which hamas has claimed responsibility. a hamas official calls resistance operations will
6:50pm
continue despite the arrest of hamas activists from the west bank. we will stay on top of this story, and a worrisome development. jack cafferty is coming up with your e-mail. ♪ yeah, we really do - ♪ and there's nothing wrong - [ bird squawks ] ♪ with what i feel for you ♪ i could hang around till the leaves are brown and the summer's gone ♪ [ announcer ] when you're not worried about potential dangers, the world can be a far less threatening place. take the scary out of life with travelers insurance... and see the world in a different light. so why are over a thousand people a day switching to chevrolet? room for eight and all sorts of space behind the third row. they just thought of everything. it just feels like a really solid car. that should come in handy. it's the chevrolet summer event and anyone can get the traverse they want. nah-uh... this one's mine. get 0% apr for 60 months on the 2010 traverse
6:51pm
with an average finance savings of around fifty seven hundred. the switch begins at chevydealer.com.
6:52pm
6:53pm
question this hour is what is the biggest complaint about your job? tom in atlanta writes i can't complain about something i don't have. vif in new york says no vacation time, no health care coverage, no sick days. the restaurant business is a blast. betty writes no complaints. with sho many people out of work, i'm blessed to have a job. sarah in houston, lack of job security. we have another round of layoffs coming in a few week. this times we'll lose 50% of employees. scott in illinois writes i have no complaints. i'm glad to have a job. everyone else who has jobs should feel the same way. my father just lost his job after 5 years of service to his company. they said we don't need you anymore. now he has to move because he can't afford the home he's in.
6:54pm
joe writes too many temps to avoid paying fringe benefits. for employers of more than 50 workers there ought to be a limit on the percentage of temps. dave writes no raises in five years despite record profits. the minute i can leave them in bad spot and profit myself with a new job, i will. mike in alabama writes, they have the air conditioners turned up too high. and barbara in north carolina writes it's in india, doofus, and i'm here. if you want to read more go online to cnn.com/caffertyfiles and check them out. >> glad we have jobs. >> indeed. >> and i'm so pleased i can work with you every day. >> vice versa. it's been a good five years. >> has it been that long? she's been a major, governor and nominee for vice president of the united states. wait until you hear what a friend is saying sarah palin
6:55pm
doesn't do. efficient route to where you're going. it can find the best price on gas. >> show fuel prices. vo: and now its v6 gets the best highway fuel economy in its class. say hello to the new ford edge. quite possibly the world's smartest crossover. [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah. hi, may i help you?
6:56pm
yes, i hear progressive has lots of discounts on car insurance. can i get in on that? are you a safe driver? yes. discount! do you own a home? yes. discount! are you going to buy online? yes! discount! isn't getting discounts great? yes! there's no discount for agreeing with me. yeah, i got carried away. happens to me all the time. helping you save money -- now, that's progressive. call or click today.
6:57pm
sarah palin doesn't hunt? jeanne moos stalk this most unusual rumor. >> reporter: when you think of sarah palin it's one of the first things to pop into your mind. >> hunter. >> good hunting. >> holding a dead bloody moose. >> reporter: actually it was a
6:58pm
dead caribou in the famous article. now according to an article citing an unnamed friend of the palins, that has never hunted. she got out of the rv to pose for a picture. it's all a joke. sarah palin not a caribou killer? not a stalker of moose? didn't she prepare moose stew? >> who shot the moose? >> i think my dad did. maybe my mom did. >> reporter: but that anonymous family friend says todd was calling everyone they knew the day before, you got any moose? desperate. >> how many caribou you ever shot? >> oh, just a few. >> reporter: she sure tried to shoot down a "vanity fair" reporter. >> impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them. >> but hunting for the truth is more elusive than hunting for hoos. for instance, here's what
6:59pm
palin's dad said shortly after she became the vp nominee. >> i remember every time she would go home from college she would say let's go bird hunting. >> sarah palin is a tough lady. she kills things. big -- >> i can't wait to kill with you. >> reporter: anyway, we need sarah pale tennessee moose killer for computer games, for impersonators. >> the king of the liberals, our prey. >> reporter: even for the prank sters calling her out. >> you knew we had a lot of in common. one of my favorite activities is to hunt. >> we should go hunting together. >> reporter: fan, too, need the moose shooting mama. ♪ the moose shooting mama to help keep our country free ♪